Monday, December 6, 2021

Committee Hearings – Week of 12-6-21

This week with the House and Senate both in Washington, there is a fairly normal hearing schedule. There is one hearing of potential interest here: a cybersecurity markup hearing.

Cybersecurity Markup

On Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee will hold a markup hearing on Wednesday covering five bills. One of those bills (HR 4977, the Better Cybercrime Metrics Act) may be of interest here. I have not reported on this bill, but it is essentially a companion bill to S 2629, which was reported in the Senate last week. This bill does not affect (or require) private sector reporting of cyber-crimes. What it does do is try to get DOJ to standardize the way that cybercrime statistics are reported within the government.

On the Floor

None of the bills this week scheduled for consideration under suspension of the rules in the House are of particular interest here. That includes the 16 new bills to be considered this week and the 14 being carried over from last week awaiting floor votes.

The House Majority leader lists the following legislation for possible consideration this week:

• Consideration of the FY22 National Defense Authorization Act

• Possible Consideration of Legislation Related to the Debt Limit

• Possible Consideration of Legislation Related to End of the Year Healthcare Provisions

• Additional Legislative Items Are Possible

The odd thing is that the House already passed HR 4350, the FY2022 NDAA. That bill is still stalled in the Senate. When the Senate adjourned last Thursday, there was no mention of an agreement on resuming consideration of the bill this week. Apparently the leadership has about given up on trying to get an agreement on the amendments to be considered before the final vote on the substitute language on the bill.

An interesting article over on lays out a bizarre solution to the current stalemate. Typically the Senate takes up the House bill, substitutes the Senate language, amends it and then the two conference on how to combine the two bills. That conference language then goes back to the House and Senate for a final vote. What is reporting is taking out the ‘amends it’ step. Apparently the two Armed Services Committees are holding an unofficial conference to work out the differences between what the two committees want in the bill. That unofficial conference bill would then be taken up by the House under a closed rule (without amendments like a conference report is normally considered).

I am not sure how they would expect to get this past the bomb throwers in the Senate, but it is certainly out-of-the-box thinking. I would suspect that the House Armed Services Committee would try to keep most of the floor add-ins from HR 4350 in the reported bill. It would be interesting to see what ‘amendments’ the Senate would try to keep.

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